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Solar Financing: How to Choose A Lender

One of the most important factors for those considering a solar project is the cost. That’s fair—you certainly have to make an initial investment to reap the long term benefits. However, the right solar financing partner makes that investment  much more manageable. 


In turn, the question that inevitably follows is: how can you find the right financier, and where is the right place to begin on the journey of financing your solar project?


Seeing through the allure of industry finance programs


Given that you’re financing a solar project, it might seem appropriate that you consider financing through an industry program. That logic is sound, but it’s important that you understand exactly how these programs work. 


Essentially, programs encourage developers to sell a monthly payment to solar clients. This monthly payment is calculated by adding a “fee” to the project cost. The amount of the fee depends on the interest rate and term of the loan. 


Any way you slice it, this fee will always equal about 20% of the project cost—it doesn’t take too much in-depth financial knowledge to see that this isn’t exactly the shining finance deal it’s made out to be. 


So, where should you turn instead to receive financial support for your solar project? The answer is simpler than you might imagine. 


Look to your local bank


If you’re like most people, there’s probably a financial institution at which you’ve been completing your personal banking for years, or even decades. That local bank is actually precisely where you should start when looking to finance your solar project. 


If, for whatever reason, your bank is unable or unwilling to assist with solar finance, WindSolarUSA can recommend three local banks that are familiar with the industry and generally willing to assist: Town & Country Bank, Heartland Credit Union, and CEFCU.


The value of comparison shopping


There are many instances in life where getting a second opinion is the only responsible way to make a decision. Solar financing isn’t generally one of those instances.


More than likely, your financing will be classified one of three ways, regardless of the institution. It will either be a home improvement loan, a home equity loan, or mortgage refinance. In turn, the interest rates associated with the financing have more to do with individual credit and the type of loan than they do with the lender. 


Still, if you’re more comfortable taking the leap with a lender after shopping around a bit, there’s no real downfall to this method. That is—aside from the fact that it will require more time and energy on your part. 


Invigorating the local economy


Aside from the fact that it’s simply a more sound financial decision to work with a local bank, there’s another important reason to keep solar financing in your neck of the woods: it helps bolster the local economy. 


Every holiday season you hear inspired pleas to shop locally, but that logic applies year round when spending money. Patronizing a local bank is just one more way you can ensure your money goes toward uplifting the area you call home. 

We understand how stressful this part of the process of Going Solar can feel, so feel free to reach out with any questions you might have on the topic of solar finance!